French law taxing US digital giants draws angry response from US President Trump

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team New Delhi Jul 11, 2019, 03.53 PM (IST)

The French parliament on Thursday passed a law taxing internet giants including Apple and Google in defiance of a probe ordered by President Donald Trump that could trigger reprisal tariffs. 

The move has reportedly angered the United States and prompted Washington to open an investigation, reported news agency AFP.

The legislation -- dubbed the GAFA tax -- an acronym for Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon -- was passed by a simple show of hands in the Senate after previously being passed by the National Assembly lower chamber, the report added.

But the French move drew an angry response from Trump even before the legislation was passed, with the president ordering an investigation that the French economy minister said was unprecedented in the history of French-US relations. 

The law will levy a 3.0 per cent tax on total annual revenues of the largest tech firms providing services to French consumers.

"The United States is very concerned that the digital services tax which is expected to pass the French Senate tomorrow unfairly targets American companies," US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a statement.

But French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire France rejected the US reaction on Thursday, saying "threats" were not the way to resolve such disputes.

France says the US was unfairly targeting its companies. 

(With AFP inputs)